Sunday, January 30

Girly - {Maraschino Cherry Lamingtons}

I briefly considered opening this post with a paragraph-long deprecation of Valentine's Day, but I did something along those lines last year, so why do it again?

Instead, this year, I'm going to talk about what I do like about this ingeniously marketed holiday.


I'm sure it's rather straightforward and plain considering my interests and my gender. But not too simple; of course I like flowers and the occasional piece of chocolate, but those are great all year, so I'm not going to credit Valentine's Day with their presence, existence or current prevalence.

Oh no.


But the girly color scheme? Heck yeah - I'm all over that. Poorly represented in my wardrobe, the repressed and unloved pinks, reds and whites lacing supermarket displays January through mid February inspire a decidedly feminine and dainty quality in my baking ventures. Powered by pink and roused by red, I've got so many Valentine's themed desserts spinning around my head and stored in the memory bank of my cell phone's notepad app that it's not even funny. I'm sad to admit that I probably won't be able to execute or share everything I'm hoping to, but that's why I'm starting early.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to share more than one treat a week in the coming weeks. I can't promise it, but I'm certainly hoping for it.


Anyway, when Mr. P (not to be confused with my P) of Delicious, Delicious, Delicious told the world that he was doing over a week's worth of Lamington reinvention in the days leading up to Australia Day, I was thrilled that the fluffy white coconut fit right into the color palette over which I'm currently obsessing.

So, not only do I get the pleasure of participating in Reinventing the Lamington 2011 with this recipe, but I also get the chance to excusably indulge in a little pink-and-white-super-kawaii-frill for once.


Which is always good, if you ask me.

Maraschino Cherry Lamingtons
Almond Genoise adapted from Chef de Cuisine
Printable Recipe

2 egg yolks
1/4 c (50 g) sugar
2 egg whites
2 tsp sugar
1/6 c (17 g) ground almonds
1/4 c (36 g) flour
1 Tbls (14 g) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

Grease, line and re-grease an 8" x 8" pan.

Combine the ground almonds and flour in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine egg yolks and 1/4 c sugar in a double boiler, and whisk constantly until tripled in volume.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they just start to peak, then gradually sprinkle in the sugar. Beat until soft peaks form.

Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients and the butter.

Pour into your prepared pan and bake 10-15 minutes until the cake is lightly browned and springs back when pressed lightly.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Maraschino Cherry Filling

4 Tbls (57 g) butter, room temp
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c (52 g) powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp maraschino cherry juice (from a jar of cherries)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat the butter until slightly lightened, then add the salt and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the maraschino cherry juice and vanilla. Beat to combine.

Assembly

2 1/2 c (592 ml) shredded coconut, approximately
10 oz white chocolate (or Candy Melts, if you prefer)

Cut the cooled cake into a 6" x 6" square. Cut that cake into two 3" x 6" halves and set one layer aside. Spread and smooth the frosting over one half of the cake, then top with the other, smoothing the frosting along the edges. Chill overnight, if possible, then cut the cake in half lengthwise, resulting in two 6" x 1.5" rectangles. Cut each of these strips into 4 pieces and you will end up with eight 1.5" x 1.5" x 1.5" cubes.

Place the mini cakes on a plate or baking sheet and return to the refrigerator.

While the cakes chill, turn your attention to dipping:

Place the coconut in a bowl and set out a sheet of parchment paper or a plate to hold your coated Lamingtons.

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a double boiler - whatever makes you most comfortable! To make coating the Lamingtons easier, transfer the melted chocolate to a tall thin container.

Dip each chilled and naked Lamington using a fork or a pair of chopsticks (whatever works for you!) to support it. Tap your dipping device on the edge of the bowl to slightly thin the coating and immediately roll the Lamington in the shredded coconut to coat. Let set/harden on parchment paper or plate.

Thursday, January 27

Ritual - {Cranberry and Orange Pop-Tarts}

It took effort to get there, but I loved sitting at the counter as a kid. Accessible only by way of barstool, I would carefully pull myself up onto the swiveling seat and pivot my weight on a centered and bent knee before triumphantly collapsing into the throne. It was from there that I would watch the goings on of the kitchen, do my homework and, of course, eat.


Upon waking up on weekdays, I schlepped my tired self from my bedroom into the kitchen for breakfast, ready to embark on my ritual morning mountain climbing exercise.

It began with climbing onto the counter to the left of the stove, then leaning precariously to the right to reach my short arms into the cereal cabinet. My open palm reached for just one of a variety of boxes, eventually grasping the chosen one. Once retrieved, I would carefully carry the family-sized box down, deposit it on the kitchen counter and set off to fetch the milk.

Inconveniently placed on the top shelf, wrapping my fingers around the handle was doable, but only when standing on tiptoe. my weak little girl arms protested the simple act of lifting the jug, but I wanted my cereal - so I did it. Every morning.


At this point, the bowl and spoon were all that remained and, fortunately for myself, both were quite easy to obtain. I was often able to find a set in the dishwasher, but on the days that I was unable, I only needed to briefly lift myself onto the counter, grab a bowl, delicately lower myself to the floor and find a spoon in the silverware drawer under the Formica-lined counter.

With the components of my breakfast all assembled, I finished the last leg of my expedition by climbing onto a barstool as previously explained, then rewarded myself with a face stuffed full of Oreo O's and the joy of repeatedly scanning the text on all sides of the box.

This was my weekday morning ritual. Yes, sometimes on the weekends we would have pancakes or French toast, but on the weekdays I was all about the cereal. Toast? Nah. Eggs? Nah. I saw Pop Tarts and other breakfast pastries gracing the hands of my peers on the bus, but I never found them particularly enticing. The few bites I had of them in my childhood were repulsively sweet and altogether unappealing.


No thanks!

But when Bravetart's author, Stella, mentioned to me a few weeks ago that she was working on a mock Pop-Tart recipe, I found myself strangely intrigued. I had to make them.

And you know what? They were awesome. They taste just like the Pop-Tarts I remember, but better and... Well, actually delicious. Which means that something wonderful has happened:


My taste buds have finally matured to the point that I can now enjoy Pop-Tarts.

I feel so grown up!

Pop-Tarts via Bravetart
Be aware that these are Pop-Tarts. They are not flaky fruit-filled hand pies, but they are utterly amazing. This was a really fun project and I hope you'll enjoy making them as much as I did!
Printable Recipe

Dough via Bravetart
You should end up with 24 pieces (yielding 12 Pop-Tarts), but if you don't, that's fine! Just aim for an even number and try to keep the dough relatively thin.

2 c (283 g) flour
1 tsp salt
1 c (226g) butter, cubed and frozen for at least 15 minutes
1/2 c (125 ml) corn syrup

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture consists of pea-sized lumps. Add the corn syrup and mix just until it comes together. Dust your hands with flour, scoop out the dough, and knead lightly until smooth.

Flatten the dough into a square, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes, up to three days.

Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper on your counter and dust with powdered sugar. Roll the chilled dough to 1/4” thick, maintaining a square shape by refraining from rolling diagonally. Lift and move the dough periodically to ensure that it does not stick, and add more powdered sugar underneath if necessary.

When the dough is rolled to the appropriate thickness, use a ruler to cut it into as many 3 1/8” wide strips as you can. Then, cut each strip every 4 inches. Remove scraps and transfer parchment/wax paper to a cookie sheet. Place in the refrigerator while you re-roll scraps in the same fashion, refrigerating until needed.

After preparing the filling (recipe below), Pipe a thin layer of fruit filling on half (12) of the rectangles, leaving a 1/2" border on each side. Keep in mind that Pop-Tarts are not FILLED with fruit as you work, and try to keep the layer relatively smooth.

Brush the border lightly with water and place another layer of pastry over the fruit filling. Seal the edges by lightly pressing them with the rounded edge of a bench scraper. Dock each Pop-Tart about 8 times (2 rows of 4).

Preheat the oven to 350F and refrigerate the finished tarts while the oven comes to temp.

When the oven is ready, bake the Pop-Tarts for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned but not golden brown. If the Pop-Tarts spread while baking, tap/trim them back into shape with a bench scraper or knife while they are still warm.

Cool completely before frosting.

Cranberry and Orange Filling via Bravetart
Stella provided some wonderful ideas for filling over on her blog, but I was low on dried fruit and too lazy to go shopping, so I worked with what we had to create a simple, tasty filling.

1 2/3 c (266 g) dried cranberries
1 orange, zest
2 Tbls corn syrup

Place the dried fruit and corn syrup in a food processor. Blitz until a thick paste is formed, letting the machine run for a minute or so to ensure no large pieces remain.

Transfer the fruit filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large petal tip.

Icing via Bravetart
Be sure to keep this covered with a damp towel when you are not using it or it will crust over.

2 1/8 c (340 g) powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Sprinkles, homemade or store-bought

Place all of the ingredients except the sprinkles in a large bowl and beat until stiff and glossy, about 10 minutes. The resulting icing should be the perfect consistency for piping, but if not, beat in more powdered sugar until it is.

Using a piping bag fitted with a small, plain tip, pipe a border around the edge leaving a 1/4" margin. Allow to dry for about an hour.

Thin remaining icing by adding water to it in 1 tsp increments until a trail of icing from a spatula disappears in 3 seconds. Flood the border you piped earlier with a small amount of icing, using a small offset spatula or toothpick to reach to corners. Allow to dry 3 minutes before adding sprinkles, then overnight before eating.

Thursday, January 20

Divide - {Mutter Paneer}

Defiantly reorienting beneath my weight, my shoes finagle their way into the predetermined path lain in the snow. Constructed of what may as well be rock, previously-taken steps cut through what was once a pristine plot of white snow; perfection’s fissure.


I take full credit for the engraved steps in front of this apartment complex, remembering the day after the first snow in which I found myself too tired to properly approach the building via sidewalk. After a twenty minute walk through what I would consider a blizzard, a defenseless expanse of snow was the last thing that would stop me from a hastier respite in a warm building.

And so, I lifted my objecting legs into the fluff and shuffled triumphantly within. Soaked from the heels up, my heavy jeans collected flakes as I messily divided the billowy white covering. A pile to my left and a pile to my right; behind me a wake of chaos and disorder, as if a boat had somehow permanently disturbed the placid surface of a lake. Up to this point, midway through the courtyard, there had been no thoughts in my head besides the simple innate desire for warmth and shelter from the falling haze. But suddenly, noticing the wake behind me as I shifted my weight from one foot to the next, I felt a tinge of guilt.


Destroying the once undisturbed covering seemed quite like a sin at that moment, as if harassing it with my feet was something I would be punished for at a later time. I realize that it’s just snow (at best, frozen water), but I felt, somehow, that it was not mine to destroy. I had taken the same short-cut across the grass in warmer months, but without the springy vitality of the blades, it suddenly seemed altogether wrong. And yet, finding myself halfway through, there wasn’t much I could do in the way of erasing my path.

So, I continued, contemplating my actions and eventually coming to the conclusion that I was not in the wrong. As I completed my final stride with a satisfying thud on the doorstep, I imagined my handiwork - an unintentional and nature-made trail of breadcrumbs – newly and comfortably sprawled out behind me. With solid shoes and a poorly thought out plan, I decided that my feet had paved the way for many tired soles behind me, allowing for attempted matched steps or simple permission to cross the snow.

As the days passed, the path widened. Remaining pronounced despite the continuous downfall of snow, it was clear that it was being appropriately employed.

One day it turned to slush and threatened to disappear.


The next it froze into a solid block of continuous grey, mimicking rock and crushed pavement.

And on that day, dear reader; being faced with strong winds, numb extremities and burning cheeks; I thanked myself for being, at times, rash and inconsiderate. Because coming in from the cold is one of the best feelings there is.

Mutter Paneer via P
Warm yourself up with a bowl of this Mutter Paneer! This loose curry warms you with both the burn of serranos and its gentle warmth over a serving of rice.
Printable Recipe

Paneer
It is not necessary to make the paneer from scratch as it can certainly be purchased from international markets or grocery stores with well-stocked international sections. Making it at home is just more fun!

1 gal whole milk
1/4 c lemon juice

Bring the milk just to a boil, then reduce heat. When all bubbles have disappeared, add the lemon juice and let set 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until large curds develop. Pour into a colander over a large bowl lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Fold the cheesecloth over the curds and place a plate topped with heavy cans on top to press out the whey. Allow to drain for 1 hour. Squeeze the curds well, then tightly rework the cheesecloth. Allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight before using. Makes approximately 1 lb 10 oz of paneer.

1/4 c mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
1 tsp whole coriander, crushed lightly with hands
1 1/2 c chopped red onion
1 tsp salt
2 serranos (you might want to use less if you don't like spicy food)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1” knob ginger, minced
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne, or less to taste
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 c water or stock of choice
3 c peas
1 lb paneer, cubed + pan fried, if desired

Place oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and coriander, then cook until they pop, about 3 minutes. Add in the onion and salt, stirring constantly and cooking until well-browned, but not burned, about 15-20 minutes. If necessary, pour in a few tablespoons of water to deglaze and prevent sticking while cooking. After the onions are cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add the jalapenos, ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook about five minutes, being very careful not to burn. Pour in the tomato sauce and paste, then sprinkle in the garam masala, cayenne and turmeric. Stir to incorporate, then cook 3-5 minutes to caramelize the tomato sugars. Pour in the water (to desired consistency), peas and paneer, then cook for one minute longer. Adjust seasonings if desired and serve over rice.

Saturday, January 15

Discover - {Pear, Almond and Coconut Flognarde}

Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that in addition to Twitter, Whisk Kid now has a Facebook page.

I hope you're liking the new look!
____________________________________

Strengthened by a thick veil of interlaced grape vines, a near-living fence divides my family's property into unequal portions of living space and work space. Formerly owned by my grandparents, the front half held their house, a simple swing-set and a garage; all but a few paces from the steep gravel driveway. Past the fence, sprawling acres into the distance, was a piece of land populated with a garden, a barn and a generous horse pasture; the "work" part of their property.


Because I never had to work the land or care for the animals (that was a job for my Dad and his siblings), I favored the space beyond the vines for playtime. The swing in the front yard simply had no appeal; easily overshadowed by the fun to be had adventuring out back. In the summers, a small cornfield peeked up through the soil in the garden, bringing with it the pleasure of sweet corn on the table (which I didn't realize) and the joy of a nature-made fortress to play in. When the towering stalks began to wilt and fall, we left the stronghold for the apple trees in the north; dropping their burden for small hands to feed to horses or throw (however, now that I think about it, that was often a one-way deal). In the winter that followed, when the trees lost their leaves and the garden was hidden beneath a blanket of snow, we entertained ourselves by racing our sleds down the pasture's cleared fields and having snowball fights behind the garage.

Through the years, the features of my Grandparent's property began to change. The uninteresting swing in the front yard was the first to go; uprooted and discarded as it altogether ceased to draw interest. The vine-covered fence was the next to go, further simplifying the process of mowing the lawn and homogenizing the yard in an altogether bizarre nature. Being "out back" no longer held the elusive and escaped qualities we so loved, for they themselves escaped as the land became part of the front yard in a matter of hours.

After a few years, Grandpa moved north and my aunt and uncle moved into his house, bringing with them my cousins, their dog, and a trampoline which was quickly embraced. No longer entertained by the simple features of the land, the garden went unloved and the fence was forgotten; leaving the trampoline as our sole interest.


It shocked me, quite recently, to rediscover the garden and the apple trees; the rhubarb in between and the empty space where the fence once stood. It seemed as if a long time had passed between Grandpa's last cornfield and my uncle's first sprout, and seeing the tomatoes, beans and squash reaching toward a border of zinnias was not something I had expected when I visited a few years back in late spring. All through the summer, my Aunt found ways to work the garden staples into their meals, ensuring that I was hopelessly addicted to salsa and cucumber salad by the time fall rolled around and their crops stopped cooperating.

But as I lamented my loss, sitting on a picnic table in roughed jeans and watching the sun fade, I was introduced to something new by my aunt.

A pear tree.

A pear tree that had always been there, always produced fruit, and stood just three feet from my favorite birch tree, but had somehow eluded me for 17 years (a formidable feat for something without feet! Sorry, I had to).

Up until this discovery, I'd never truly cared for pears. To me they were sad rejected apples, lacking in shape, texture, taste and appearance. To crunch into their flesh was a displeasure, making them my last choice when selecting prey from an otherwise lovely bowl of fruit. After a few tries in childhood, I'd cast the things aside "for good," giving them another chance only for the fact that they'd hung themselves so generously in front of my face. After a bite, I was surprised and pleased to realize that my preferences had changed. I ate the entire pear, then another, mentally erasing them from the short list of fruits I don't like while spitting out the seeds.


However, as much as I enjoy pears, I've never baked with them. Up until now, that is, when I chose to use them for this month's grain-free Sugar High Friday. Retaining their pleasant tenderness through the bake time, the bosc pears that went into this are every bit as lovely being lightly baked as they are raw. Mixed with the creamy flan-like custard, this dessert is light and refreshing; a perfect foil for many of the heavy winter treats popping their heads up lately!

Pear, Almond and Coconut Flognarde adapted from Z's Cup of Tea
Printable Recipe

3 eggs
1/4 c almond flour
2 Tbsp water
2-3 Tbsp honey, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 pears, sliced thinly
1/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened and lightly toasted
1/4 coconut milk
nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, almond flour, water, 1 Tbls honey and extracts. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Arrange the pears in a 9" round dish and top with the toasted coconut. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbls honey.

Pour the chilled custard over the fruit and drizzle with coconut milk. Sprinkle with nutmeg and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until mostly set (you just want the very center to be wobbly). Cool and serve.

Tuesday, January 4

Season - {Lemon and Almond Cake}

The concept of seasonality isn't something that occurred to me until just a few years ago as I spent an afternoon strolling the produce section of a local grocery store and considered the quality of their offerings. Certainly, my parents had explained to me the grand exchange of goods from far-off lands; instilling in me a brief understanding of the world economy to prime me for further education. However, their commentary was lost on me; then younger, wondrously examining a proud display of fresh strawberries and twirling a pigtail ferociously about my finger in the dead of winter. There were strawberries here now, so what did I care? I cut their lecture short with begging and pleading, eventually convincing my poor parents to patiently lower the overpriced and barely-red orbs into the cart.


Success is sweet, especially for a child, but returning home to devour the berries was a severe disappointment. Lacking in color, texture and simple strawberry-ness, the fruits were eaten, but not without distaste. Perhaps my parents were right? It appeared to me that blindly selecting and consuming produce was ok with them, but because it wasn't cheap and wasn't always the tastiest option, it was only to an extent.

Developing a knowledge of each season's harvest seemed daunting, but observing simple clues has significantly lessened the difficulty. For example, the presence and iconic nature of certain fruits and vegetables in holiday meals is a good clue to their seasonal peak. To elaborate, carrots are used for Easter's carrot cake in the spring, and cranberries and pumpkin are harvested for Thanksgiving staples in the fall. Summer's Fourth of July (my favorite holiday!) is freshened by both sweet corn and strawberries, one serving as a sweet treat during the meal; the latter a dessert to be later served with cream.

Other seasonal traditions have helped further my understanding of the harvests. I was lucky to quickly internalize the peak of asparagus due to my Dad's encouragement of "asparagus hunting" from mid-spring and into the summer, and sipping icy-cold lemonade on the porch in the summer signaled the tart fruit's obvious harvest time.


Another simple tip-off to what's at its best is the way produce is displayed at your local grocer. Oftentimes, what stores choose to display front and center is what you'll want to eat. While the season progresses, yield increases, prices drop and quality increases. In short, buying in-season has lots of benefits.

Which is why I was happy to see a bright display of Meyer lemons at Kroger a few weeks back, each bag of six marked down to the low, low price of $1.50. I added two to my cart, and was on my merry way, thrilled to finally have access to a fruit that I'd often heard of but never seen. Unlike their siblings, they're at their best from roughly November to January. They're similar, of course, in many ways to common lemons, but have a subtle sweetness that lend well to baking.

Not that there's anything wrong with regular lemons for baking, but, you know, Meyer lemons are special.

Using them makes me feel fancy.

I like feeling fancy.


However, despite what I know (and am learning) about all of this, I still find myself purchasing out-of-season produce from time to time. I'm far from "above" doing it, would never look down on anyone who does, and I appreciate it as a luxury of living in the states. Many people say that there's a lot wrong with doing it (not supporting local farmers, poor nutrition, contributing to pollution from transportation, etc.) and I admit that I do agree to a degree, but sometimes... Well, sometimes I've just got to have some asparagus with my hot chocolate.

Don't judge.

Lemon and Almond Cake
Lemon Cake via Always Order Dessert
Makes three 9" cakes.
Printable Recipe

2 1/2 c (355 g) flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c (177 g) butter, room temp
1 c (210 g) sugar
8 egg yolks
2 Meyer lemons, zest and juice
1 Tbls vanilla
3/4 c (177 ml) whole milk

Preheat oven to 375F and oil three 9" round baking pans. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add the egg yolks and continue beating about 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla and beat for another minute.

Add one third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine, then add half of the milk. After incorporating, continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the three cake pans and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Flip out onto wire racks and let cool before frosting.

Lemon Curd via Alton Brown
5 egg yolks
1 c (210 g) sugar
4 Meyer lemons, zest and juice
1/2 c (118 g) butter, cubed and chilled

Add enough water to a medium saucepan (or a double boiler) to come about 1-inch up the side and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl (that will fit well over the simmering water without touching it) and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk until smooth.

Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. Whisk constantly until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding the next.

Transfer to a clean container place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Almond Italian Meringue Buttercream For step-by-step directions for making Italian Meringue Buttercream, please click here!

1/4 c (63 ml) water
1 c (210 g) sugar
5 egg whites
1/4 c (53 g) sugar
1 c (237 g) butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla, more if desired
1/2 tsp almond extract

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer.

Heat the 1 c sugar and water on the stove to 245F stirring occasionally only after the sugar has been dissolved. When it is within the range of 230F to 235F, begin whipping the egg whites. When they get to soft peaks, begin adding the remaining 1/4 c sugar and continue whipping to medium peaks, being careful not to overbeat. When the syrup is the correct temperature, slowly pour it into the eggs with the mixer on high. After fully incorporated, beat the frosting 7-10 minutes until the outside of the bowl is room temp (I usually go a little longer than this; often times the bowl is not room temp when I begin adding butter. If the mix seems to soupy, put it in the fridge for a few moments or try briefly chilling some of the butter in the freezer before adding). Begin adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, beating until fully incorporated. The frosting will deflate a little, but it's ok. Keep whipping until the frosting comes together (you may not need to add all of the butter), add the extracts and continue whipping until it's light and fluffy.

Assembly
Cut domes off of cakes. Place one on the platter you plan to serve on and spread with a thin layer of lemon curd (be careful not to add too much as it may cause the layers to slip). Top with a layer of frosting, then place another cake round on top. Spread again with lemon curd and frosting, then top with the final cake. Crumb coat with a thin layer of icing, and refrigerate, if possible, 10-15 minutes to set (if you don't have fridge space, it is fine to just continue frosting without refrigerating, but I like the extra insurance that it offers). Frost with remaining frosting as desired.